Sustainable development, as first defined more than two decades ago by the United Nations, means "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Over the years, out of that definition have come the three pillars of sustainability: balancing environmental, social and economic demands.
Adopting sustainable business practices is not only the right thing to do - it is also a reflection of the fact that Petco associates are passionate about making a difference. Our associates enjoy working for a company that cares and acts responsibly. The following are some exciting highlights in key areas where we are making improvements and bringing more sustainable practices to Petco:
Achieving sustainable business practices is a continuous process that can always be improved upon. At Petco, we're working hard to refine our efforts on an ongoing basis. As Chief People Officer and leader in our sustainability efforts, Charlie Piscitello says, "We may not yet be where we want to be with our sustainability efforts, but the exciting part is that we continue to learn and develop broader plans as we better understand areas of opportunity and hear ideas from our associates. I am very encouraged by our progress so far and certain that we must do even more - for our families, our pets, the planet, and our business."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Petco, a leading pet specialty retailer with more than 1,000 stores nationwide, as an ENERGY STAR Leader for reducing energy consumption by more than 10 percent across its building portfolio. The company's efforts have prevented more than 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from entering the atmosphere.
"At Petco, we're committed to making a better world for people and pets, which includes reducing our environmental impact across our business," said Jim Myers, Petco's CEO. "Energy efficiency is an integral part of that commitment and our broader approach to driving more sustainable business practices across our company. We're proud to join the EPA's list of ENERGY STAR leaders and of the important accomplishments that earned this recognition."
ENERGY STAR Leaders are named for reducing energy consumption by at least 10 percent across a portfolio of buildings, based on EPA's standardized tools for tracking energy use. Petco has been an ENERGY STAR partner for several years, but became much more active in using the program's data management tools in 2009, further improving energy efficiency.
"With ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager tool, we were able to see the efficiency scores of every Petco store, distribution center and office building," said Kristin Rock, Petco's Energy Manager and a leader on the company's Sustainability Team. "The tool provided valuable insight into our most and least efficient locations so we could target and prioritize our energy reduction efforts."
Significant investments in energy management controls, efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and ENERGY STAR appliances lowered Petco's total energy use from 2007 through 2009, even as the company added 114 stores during that time.
The ENERGY STAR program has also been incorporated into Petco's culture with an awareness campaign that includes a quarterly conservation challenge in which stores compete to achieve the highest ENERGY STAR score, earn recognition and share best practices. To learn more about ENERGY STAR Leaders, visit www.energystar.gov/leaders.
As part of our efforts to make the earth cleaner and greener, we're proud of our partnership with Poo Free Parks. This company provides environmentally- and socially-responsible pet waste supplies and services to cities in parks and recreational areas -- at no cost to local taxpayers. As Poo Free Parks founding corporate sponsor, you'll find the Petco presence on conveniently located disposal bag dispensers. We've used the opportunity to educate pet parents with signage throughout dog friendly parks and trails that offer eco-friendly pet tips to park visitors.
"Poo Free Parks provide an interesting solution to maintain local parks and the dog friendly lifestyles they support while raising awareness of how pet parents can be more mindful of their environmental impact." Brand Marketing Manager Julia Gelt said.
This pilot program was launched fall 2010 in the Denver Metro Area, and is co-sponsored by Denver-based non-profit organization The Greenway Foundation. The service includes the installation, supply and upkeep of waste bag dispensers made from 100% recyclable aluminum. The dispensers are maintained by crews driving hybrid vehicles, and are filled with 100% biodegradable bags, designed to naturally deteriorate within 18 months.
As Poo Free Parks expands programs to other park districts in the United States, our partnership gives us an opportunity to reach pet parents across the country. "Poo Free Parks is making such a positive movement in keeping community parks and waterways free of plastic and pet waste," said Greg Seremetis, Vice President of Marketing. "We're really excited to be part of something on the ground level that is poised to grow exponentially and have a dramatic impact on keeping our parks clean for pets and people to enjoy."
When we opened our first store in Hawaii, we decided to reduce our carbon footprint by opting to use solar energy. That's why you'll find this Kona store is outfitted with Solar PV (photo voltaic) panels.
"Thanks to the PV panels we will be able to utilize solar power, significantly reducing our dependence on conventional electrical power and our impact on the environment," said Jim Lampassi, VP of Real Estate & Construction. "During peak sunny hours, the panels are also likely to generate 'surplus' power, which will be recaptured by our PV operator and which will essentially mean that our electric meters will spin in reverse."
The installation of the panels was made possible thanks to a partnership of Petco, our Kona location landlord and a local PV provider.
Next time you're in Kona, stop by and say Aloha to our first solar-powered store!